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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

How to Learn the Basic Word List      255
a, o, u in an Italian word have the same values as C or G before e or z,
corresponding to our CH in chocolate (aoccolatd), and our J in journal
(giornale) Italian SC before E or I is pronounced like SH m ship,
elsewhere like SC in scope SCH has the same value as SCH in school
Similarly the French GE before a, 0, u as in nous mangeons (we eat)
stands for the soft French J or G alone before e and % A subscript
mark called the cedilla shows that a French or Portuguese C before
a, 0, uy a$ in kfon (lesson) has the value of C in cinder
These inconsistencies and conventions draw attention to the chief
differences between the souiid values of identical symbols in the
Romance group. Thus the Italian CH of chianti has the * value in
character, the Spanish CH in mucho its value in the equivalent much,
and the French CH is the sh sound in chamois or champagne The
symbol J does not occur in modern Italian. The Spanish J is the
CH in Scots lochy and the French J is the SI sound in vision The
Italian Z usually corresponds to tss the Spanish-American to C in
citrus, and the French Z to our own in maze There is no z sound
in Spanish In Italian and in French an S between two vowels as in
easy stands for #, otherwise for the pwe s sound in silly The Spanish
& is always pure, i e a hiss as in case, never a buzz as in rose The
French and Spanish QU is the k sound in lacquer The Italian QU
is the kzo sound in liquid
The LLI sound of billiards has cropped up earlier in this chapter,
in Italian with the symbol GL, in Portuguese with LH, in Spanish
with LL Originally, and to-day in some dialects, the LL of a French
word had the same value, which has otherwise faded to the y sound
in yes In some French words the LL still stands for an ordinary
/ sound, e g mile (town) or village. The N in some Latin words has
undergone a softening analogous to the LLI sound For this N sound
as in onion., the Italian and French symbol is GN as in Mignon The
Spanish symbol is N, as in canon (tube) The mark is called the
Another feature of the sound-pattern of Romance languages men-
tioned m passing is the total absence of an h sound Though the symbol
remains, there is no aspirate in a French word which begins with H,
e g herbe (grass), nor in a Spanish one, e g hombre (man) The H of
French and Spanish is a dead letter and it has disappeared altogether in
corresponding Italian words, e g erba or uomo The four Italian words
which cling to it are ho (1 have), hai (thou hast), ha (he has), hanno
(they have) The initial H of these words distinguishes them from their